distance and decline of the Mogul khans soon enfranchised him from the control of a superior. He was situate on the verge of the Greek empire; the Koran sanctified his gazi, or holy war, against the infidels; and their political errors unlocked the passes of Mount Olympus, and invited him to descend into the plains of Bithynia. Till the reign of Palæologus, these passes had been vigilantly guarded by the militia of the country, who were repaid by their own safety and an exemption from taxes. The emperor abolished their privilege and assumed their office; but the tribute was rigorously collected, the custody of the passes was neglected, and the hardy mountaineers degenerated into a trembling crowd of peasants without spirit or discipline. It was on the twenty-seventh of July, in the year twelve hundred and ninety-nine of the Christian æra, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia 65 ; and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster. The annals of the twentyseven years of his reign would exhibit a repetition of the same inroads; and his hereditary troops were multiplied in each campaign by the accession of captives and volunteers. Instead of retreating to the hills, he maintained the most useful and defensible posts; fortified the towns and castles which he had first pillaged; and renounced the pastoral life for the baths and palaces of his infant capitals. But it was not till Othman was oppressed by age and infirmities that he received the welcome news of the conquest of Prusa, which had been surrendered by (A.D. 1826] famine or treachery to the arms of his son Orchan. The glory of Othman is chiefly founded on that of his descendants; but the Turks have transcribed or composed a royal testament of his last counsels of justice and moderation.66

65 See Pachymer, 1. x. C. 25, 26; l. xiii. c. 33, 34, 36; and concerning the guard of the mountains, 1. i. c. 3-6; Nicephorus Gregoras, l. vii. o. 1; and the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles, the Athenian.

66 I am ignorant whether the Turks have any writers older than Mahomet II., nor can I reach beyond & meagre chronicle (Annales Turcici ad annum 1560), translated by John Gaudier, and published by Leunclavius (ad calcem Laonic. Chalcond. p. 311-350) with copious pandects, or commentaries. The History of the Growth and Decay (A.D. 1300-1683) of the Othman empire was translated into English from the Latin Ms. of Demetrius Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia (London, 1734, in folio). The author is guilty of strange blunders in Oriental History; but he was conversant with the language, the annals, and institutions of the Turks. Cantemir partly draws his materials from the Synopsis of Saadi Effendi of Larissa, dedicated in the year 1696 to sultan Mustapha, and a valuable abridgment of the original historians. In one of the Ramblers, Dr. Johnson praises Knolles (a

Reign of

A.D. 1326


From the conquest of Prusa we may date the true æra of the Ottoman empire. The lives and possessions of the Christian subjects were redeemed by a tribute or ransom of thirty thousand crowns of gold; and the city, by the labours of Orchan, assumed the aspect of a Mahometan capital; Prusa was decorated with a mosque, a college, and a hospital of royal foundation; the Seljukian coin was changed for the name and impression of the new dynasty; and the most skilful professors of human and divine knowledge attracted the Persian and Arabian students from the ancient schools of Oriental learning. The office of vizir was instituted for Aladin, the brother of Orchan; and a different habit distinguished the citizens from the peasants, the Moslems from the infidels. All the troops of Othman had consisted of loose squadrons of Turkman cavalry, who served without pay and fought without discipline; but a regular body of infantry was first established and trained by the prudence of his son.67 A great number of volunteers was enrolled with a small stipend, but with the permission of living at home, unless they were summoned to the field; their rude manners and seditious temper disposed Orchan to educate his young captives as his soldiers and those of the prophet; but the Turkish peasants were still allowed to mount on horseback and follow his standard, with the appellation and the hopes of freebooters. By these arts he formed an army of twenty-five thousand Moslems; a train of battering engines was framed for

General History of the Turks to the present year, London, 1603) as the first of historians, unhappy only in the choice of his subject. Yet I much doubt whether a partial and verbose compilation from Latin writers, thirteen hundred folio pages of speeches and battles, can either instruct or amuse an enlightened age, which requires from the historian some tincture of philosophy and criticism. [See Appendix 1.]

67(Alā ad-Din was a political thinker. Having resigned all claim to a share in Othman's inheritance he spent some years in retirement and thought, and then gave to his brother the result of his meditations. Orohan made him vizir and followed his suggestions. The chief reforms introduced by Alā ad-Dīn were three. (1) The regulation of Turkish dress is mentioned in the text. (2) The introduction of an independent Ottoman coinage. Hitherto the Seljuk money circulated. The historian Sad ad-Din (transl. Bratutti, i. p. 40) states that the first Ottoman coins, gold and silver, with Orchan's name, were issued in 1328. There are no dates on Orchan's coins. (3) The institution of the Janissaries (Yani Chari,“ new soldiery'), probably in A.D. 1330 (cp. Sad ad-Din, ib. p. 42). This used to be wrongly ascribed to Murad I. (so Marsigli, Stato militare, i. 67, and Gibbon). Compare Hammer, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, i. 97 sqq. Alā ad-Din clearly grasped the fact that an establishment of well-trained infantry was indispensable. À regular body of cavalry was also established at the same time. The regular troops received pay; whereas the great general levy of cavalry performed military service for their fiefs.]



A.D. 1326

A.D. 1340)

the use of sieges; and the first successful experiment was made His con: on the cities of Nice and Nicomedia. Orchan granted a safe-Bithynia, conduct to all who were desirous of departing with their 1339 families and effects; but the widows of the slain were given in marriage to the conquerors; and the sacrilegious plunder, the books, the vases, and the images were sold or ransomed at Constantinople. The emperor, Andronicus the Younger, was (Battle of vanquished and wounded by the son of Othman ; 68 he subdued 1.D. 1329] the whole province or kingdom of Bithynia, as far as the shores (Reduction of the Bosphorus and Hellespont; and the Christians confessed completed, the justice and clemency of a reign which claimed the voluntary attachment of the Turks of Asia. Yet Orchan was content with Division of the modest title of emir; and in the list of his compeers, the among the princes of Roum or Anatolia, 6" his military forces were surpassed emirs, A.D. by the emirs of Ghermian and Caramania, each of whom could bring into the field an army of forty thousand men. Their dominions were situate in the heart of the Seljukian kingdom; but the holy warriors, though of inferior note, who formed new principalities on the Greek empire, are more conspicuous in the light of history. The maritime country from the Propontis to the Mæander and the isle of Rhodes, so long threatened and so often pillaged, was finally lost about the thirtieth year of Andronicus the Elder.70 Two Turkish chieftains, Sarukhan and


1300, &c.

68 Cantacuzene, though he relates the battle and heroic flight of the younger Andronicus (1. ii. c. 6-8), dissembles, by his silence, the loss of Prusa, Nice and Nicomedia, which are fairly confessed by Nicephorus Gregoras (1. viii. 15; ix. 9, 13; xi. 6). It appears that Nice was taken by Orchan in 1330, and Nicomedia in 1339, which are somewhat different from the Turkish dates. [Capture of Nicomedia, A.D. 1326 ; battle of Pelekanon, A.D. 1329; capture of Nicæa, A.D. 1330; reduction of Karāsī (the ancient Mysia, including Pergamus) after A.D. 1340. See Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, i. 102-117. For the position of Pelekanon, on the northern coast of the Gulf of Īsmid, see J. Milioponlos, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, ix. 473 sq.]

69 The partition of the Turkish emirs is extracted from two contemporaries, the Greek Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 1), and the Arabian Marakeschi (de Guignes, tom. ii. P. ii. p. 76-77). See likewise the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles.

70 Pachymer, 1. xiii. c. 13. [The western coast of Asia Minor south of Karāsi (Mysia) was not incorporated in the Ottoman realm till the reign of Bayezid I. The most powerful rival of the Ottomans in Asia, at this time, was the state of Caramania (which reached from the Sangarius to the Pamphylian sea, and include l Galatia, Eastern Phrygia, Lycaonia, Pisidia and Pamphylia). Murad took Angora (Ancyra) in A.D. 1360, and in 1386 he inflicted a demoralising defeat on the Caramanian Sultan in the battle of Iconium. In 1391 the prince of Sarūkhān (the regions of the Hermus, including Sardis and Magnesia) and the prince of Aidin (south of Sarūkhăn, reaching to south of the Meander) submitted, and likewise the lord of Hentesia Caria, including Miletus). At the same time Bayezid subdued Kermiyan (Western Phrygia) and Tekka (Lycia), and the western part of Caramania. In 1393

« ForrigeFortsett »